From the Mommy Files…

Archive for the ‘adjustment’ Category

Today we celebrate all the amazing dads and granddads, and my dad is no exception.

If you’ve been following my posts about my dad, you know that my dad has Alzheimer’s and now lives in a nursing home. A friend publishes this awesome blog with posts written solely by women, called Women.Who.Write. She published my Mother’s Day essay, and immediately requested one for Father’s Day. Easier said than done.  But this exercise helped me to identify and begin to confront some of the many complex emotions that Alzheimer’s elicits.

Have a read. My Dad: Reflections, Lessons, Love…and Celebration

Thanks Amelia and Women.Who.Write!

Happy Father’s Day!

I'm so blessed to be this man's daughter! Here we are on my wedding day.

I’m so blessed to be this man’s daughter! Here we are on my wedding day.

Hi. It’s been a while!

Let’s get you caught up! So much has happened.

When last we met, we sent my mom back to rehab kicking and screaming.

Her second trip to the hospital in less than 2 months revealed a very severe congestive heart failure.

We almost lost her — again.

With her follow up care too intensive for my dad, we didn’t have a choice.

After a few weeks, the doctors called a meeting.

It was time.

Time to move Mom to a nursing home.

We knew we’d end up down this road.

So at the end of April, Mom moved to her new home.

We were warned that it would be a bumpy ride.

They weren’t kidding.

Enter in two months of transition, with Mom bringing everyone to tears from her abuse.

She was so incredibly mean and hurtful.

She’d say the strangest things, make threats.

The doctor recommended a cognitive evaluation.

We knew she probably had some Parkinson’s-related dementia coming on.

Shortly thereafter, she was officially diagnosed with dementia.

The neuropsychologist said there was definite cognitive impairment.

They prescribed Mom a little something to “take the edge off.”

Soon, she began to calm down and settle in.

Hold on to your hats.

It wasn’t smooth sailing from there.

My siblings and I decided we shouldn’t leave Dad alone.

So we began preparing Dad to move in with us.

He busied himself going through things, learning things my mom had hidden from him over the years.

Dad was busy, so he was happy.

Though in the end, we discovered more than we bargained for.

With Mom settled in the nursing home, it was like Dad was drinking the truth serum.

He began to reveal things we had never known.

He’d call me at random times to tell me he found something that I needed to come and see.

I couldn’t believe some of the stories he would tell.

With Mom “away,” he was able to talk freely, really for the first time ever.

Mom would speak for him, took care of everything.

In her mind, his only function was to work and give her money so she could spend it on things she didn’t need and had no use for.

Dad seemed ok, and then when we’d pack things to take to Goodwill or the trash, he began to ramble on about how he worked all his life, and now we were dumping his life at the Goodwill drop off.

He seemed to get more withdrawn with each drop off.

Then he’d start to freak out if we mentioned Goodwill.

Dad would get very upset when no one wanted something they had.

Mom never took care of things, and really, we’d already divided everything up when they moved from their home years ago and into their apartment.

Besides, we all were set up in our homes and didn’t need what they had.

After a while, we’d just take it to appease him, and then later, dispose of it accordingly.

At the end of June, Dad moved in with us.

On his first night at our house, the girls took their new roommate, aka Papou, for ice cream.

On his first night at our house, the girls took their new roommate, aka Papou, for ice cream.

We were all very excited.

Dad had always been an easygoing, go-with-the-flow kind of guy. We thought it was going to be a relatively easy transition.

Guess again.

We had big plans.

But what do they say about making big plans?

Things didn’t go as we’d planned — or hoped.

This is when we realized we were losing him.

We’d been so focused on Mom, and he’d always been so strong.

No one wanted to admit it, but being with him every day, we saw it.

This man was not my dad.

Certainly not the dad I knew.

So where did we leave off before I got consumed by moving?

That’s a whole other story.

Oh yes.

STROKE ALERT!

A quick trip to the CT room and back, revealed there was no stroke.

Thank God.

But…

Yes, there was a “but.”

Something on the scan didn’t look right, so the doctor ordered a series of MRIs and MRAs.

The doctor gave no clue as to what he was looking for nor did he share any of his suspicions.

I didn’t even know how many tests I was about to receive until later.

Meanwhile, the vertigo was still an issue, especially with all the tests.

Another doctor came in and told me in order for him to figure out what this vertigo was, he had to do a test that would probably make it worse.

He raised me up quickly and turned my head really fast.

Holy cow!

Talk about speeding up the spin!

“A typical case of Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo.”

Say that 10 times fast.

“Or BPPV for short.”

Apparently, we have crystals in our ears that regulate our balance.

When one comes out of place, it creates the vertigo.

The doctor explained that this was treatable.

He said there was a therapy I could do to gently move the crystals back into place, and then it should go away.

OK! So set me up!

Not so fast.

“We have to get the results from your other tests first.”

Meanwhile, Peter left to be at home when the girls woke up.

It would be several hours before I got any answers—or any relief for that matter.

I was given a pill and an injection to help stop the vertigo.

They helped, but didn’t relieve it 100%.

The ER began to fill up – there was a flu epidemic and people were flocking to the emergency rooms.

Eventually, this ER would be shut down.

I had been in the ER for more than 12 hours before I received more information.

Vertebral Artery Dissection.

What’s a vertebral artery?

The explanation I recall from the ER is not 100% correct, so I’m not sure if I didn’t hear it right or it wasn’t explained well.

We have two vertebral arteries—one on the left side of the neck, the other on the right. They are major arteries of the neck.

The one on my left side was torn.

Wait—there’s more.

I was told there was an aneurysm blocking the entry point.

VAD happens typically when there is an injury, or in many cases, a chiropractic adjustment gone bad.

I had neither.

The doctor asked me think back to what has been going on in my life.

We discussed the molar pregnancy, the chemo, the neurological issues I have had since.

It could all be related. They just weren’t sure yet.

This is a rare malady.

And for now, they would pronounce the cause as “spontaneous,” though we would revisit this again later.

So tell me, how did I get two “rare maladies” in a little more than two years?

Lightning struck me twice!

Then came more news.

I was going to stay in the hospital.

And my children?

The nurse said, “Let your husband take care of it. You can’t stress yourself out.”

Well, stress is part of this game we call Motherhood, no?

NOW WHAT?!

A chest x-ray, a discussion about therapies, and a four-hour wait in the hallway for a room.

Yes, you read correctly.

The ER was so jammed, I was moved from my room and had to wait in the hallway of the ER until I could get the x-ray and a room became available.

I was offered the choice of several drug therapies—all involving blood thinners with varying side effects, as well as follow up methods.

I chose Xarelto, which was a relatively new blood thinner, since I wouldn’t need weekly blood work, and my diet would not be restricted.

Then came the rules for this game.

“There are several things you will no longer be able to do, and some for now, let’s put on hold,” the neurologist explained.

“You have to take it easy, and no stress. You need to heal.”

I told him I was a mother, and that was an impossible task.

“Well, you have to try,” he insisted.

Then came the litany of activity restrictions:

No running, no jumping.

No prolonged movements of the neck.

“You know when you go to the hair salon and they put your head in the shampoo bowl?” the doctor asked.

“Don’t do that. It can give you a stroke.”

WHAT?!!!

“No quick movements of the head either. Use extra care when you drive.”

There was more.

“No neck massages, no yoga.”

How was I supposed to relax?

“No aerobic activity. Walk on the treadmill, but at a slow pace and only for a short time. Listen to your body. If you get dizzy doing anything, stop.”

“Take your meds once a day with dinner. Do not forget or you will be an increased risk of stroke.”

I asked how likely it was that I could have a stroke.

The doctor said it was VERY likely if I didn’t follow the rules, and somewhat likely even if I did.

He told me that I was lucky.

Lucky? How do you think this is lucky?

It seems that most people do not know they have VAD until they have a stroke.

If you hear of people under 50 having a stroke—this is most likely why.

So I was a walking time bomb.

“Oh yes,” the doctor said. “You might want to not play with the kids. No horsing around whatsoever. Do not lift them. Do not lift anything heavier than 10 lbs.”

“Are you kidding me?” I asked.

“I wish I were,” he replied.

17 hours after I arrived at the ER, I was finally on my way to a room.

Somebody wake me up from this nightmare.

This cannot be happening!

————————————————————————————————————————

Check back soon to learn what happened next.

 

 

 

By no means do I wish to dissuade anyone from the institution of marriage.

I think marriage is a wonderful thing. cake topper

It’s challenging, but it’s worth it.

Sometimes, we do make it harder than it has to be.

While I never expected the fairy tale, I didn’t expect it to be so hard.

I got pregnant very early in our marriage, so there was little time to really explore these new roles of husband and wife, how that affected our lives and who we were as individuals.

Fast track to parenthood –and without any help –led to much stress and strain on our marriage.

Our kids are now 6 and 4.

Has it gotten any easier?

No.

The challenges are different and ever-changing.

So is this a rant or complaint about my husband?

No.

This is a reality check.

As I ponder what has happened during our marriage –good and bad—I realized something very important.

Neither of us was raised with the tools to be a good spouse.

Think about this for a moment.

We are taught to be good people and kind to others, and yes, all that helps.

But, like many of you, we were not taught how to be a good husband or wife.

And that doesn’t mean cooking, sex or making a lot of money.

It’s about relationships.

It’s about respect.

It’s about listening.

It’s about being unselfish.

Putting someone else first, but NOT always putting yourself last.

You know what I’m talking about, Ladies.

That last one really hit home, yes?

We always put ourselves last.

We watched our mothers, aunts and grandmothers do this.

These women did not have the same opportunities that we do, or the same education or motivation to do anything outside the home.

But we all have an inner drive, a wish to accomplish something in our lives, to be a unique individual.

Sometimes, this gets squashed in marriage and parenthood, and it brings about feelings of resentment.

These feelings are not always recognized, but they are there.

What about communication?

This is vital.

I grew up in a house where children were to be “seen and not heard.”

We were supposed to be thankful for what we had, not complain, and just deal.

This did not serve me well in my dating years, and certainly not now in my married years.

It didn’t help me in my career, either.

I was conditioned to not ask for what I wanted or needed, to make do with what we had and to just deal with the way things were, as unhappy as they made me.

I’m still struggling with this as an adult.

Things get overwhelming and you fall back into old patterns.

Think about what is going on in your life, in your marriage.

Are you personally happy? Fulfilled? Motivated? Inspired?

Do you embrace the individual you are and not allow yourself to get lost in the everyday of marriage and parenthood?

Do you take time for yourself to work toward your own goals?

Do you observe couple time? (Not talking about sex, sorry. There will be more of that when you work toward these things!)

Think about how the lack of personal time and couple time affects your parenting.

We all could use a break.

So.

We can break the cycle.

And enrich our own lives.

It’s not a fairy tale. There’s no automatic “Happily Ever After.”

It’s important for us to raise our children to be good spouses.

If they choose not to marry, these skills will also serve them well in their lives.

Think about what traits a “good spouse” has.

Next time, we’ll discuss some things we can do to help raise our kids to be good spouses.

I hope you’ll share your thoughts as well.

This October 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.

This is a day for people to commemorate their lost little ones.

I lost mine in the early part of my pregnancy, but it hurts tremendously, nonetheless.

A loss at any stage of the game is life-altering.

I cannot fathom the grief experienced by women who have progressed far into their pregnancies.

Or the incredible sense of loss felt by women who’s babies were born sleeping.

Or who those who had a a child who lived for only a short while, and left this world way too soon.

And let’s not forget the dads–and other family members. They grieve too.

They feel the loss in different ways, but are still affected.

But it must be acknowledged and worked through.

My heart breaks thinking about this.

It’s an earth-shattering experience.

And one often suffered in silence.

Why don’t people discuss pregnancy and infant loss?

Why do we grieve undercover?

According to iamtheface.org, 1 in 4 women will experience the loss of a baby at sometime in their lives. 

That’s a staggering statistic.

So why are we still not talking about this?

Many people you know have experienced a miscarriage.

When I began speaking about my experience, I received notes from people telling me they too, have had a miscarriage–or two or three.

Why did I not know?

Do we feel ashamed?

We should not.

We’ve all heard people say, Just get over it.”

The truth is, you can’t.

You must grieve your loss.

Mothers fall in love with their babies from the very beginning.

Sometimes even before the pregnancy is confirmed.

The very thought of this new life growing inside us inspires great love, dreams of little tiny feet.

When that’s ripped away, it’s something that rocks you to the core.

We often blame ourselves when there is no blame to be given.

Many women do not properly grieve their loss.

And it haunts them throughout their lives.

We must grieve this loss.

We must get in a good place with it, so we can truly move on.

This is one of those things that is gone, but not forgotten.

You learn to live with it, and you find a way to move forward.

You may commemorate your little angel on your due date, the date of loss, even their birthday.

This October 15 at 7:00 pm, join women and their loved ones around the world, who will light candles in honor of their lost little ones.

Participate in this Wave of Light.

Light a candle.

Cry if you need to.

Say a prayer.

Imagine your little angel in Heaven.

Sing.

Meditate.

Do whatever works for you.

If you know someone who has been through this, give them a giant hug.

Acknowledge their grief.

Moms are incredible beings.

Moms who have endured this life-altering loss, I salute you.

You are stronger than you even know.

Sending big hugs your way.

Now, imagine our little angels playing together in Heaven.

Now that’s a beautiful image.

RIP DPK. 

Bebs turned 3 more than a month ago, and boy, she’s really giving us a run for the money.

I remember vaguely that Boo had some issues too when she first turned 3.

After a couple of months, she just kinda mellowed out.

I recall asking her teacher about it.

I said something like, “I thought 2s were supposed to be terrible. They haven’t seen 3s!”

She agreed. She did have some advice. But I can’t remember.

I don’t think it has anything to do with the brain cells I lost during chemo.

Or the lingering mommy brain, that I’m told you never quite recover from.

It’s Selective Memory.

I believe that when it comes to our kids, God gives us selective memory, so we forget a lot of the bad stuff.

If we remembered all that awful stuff, we probably wouldn’t have any more kids.

And we’d share all the horror stories with others, causing them to skip procreating.

It’s about survival of the species.

Our lovely Ms. LaRoux has turned into a beast – a beast in frilly dresses, of course.

I joke when I call her a beast, but let me tell you, these tantrums are about to kill me.

There was the 30-minute one (no exaggeration) the other day, when I told her to put her shoes on herself.

One day, she had a 15-minute tantrum, because the panties she wanted to wear were in the laundry hamper.

A few nights ago, she carried on for about 20 minutes because her blanket didn’t cover the ENTIRE bed.

On my last nerve, I reached out to my Facebook and Twitter friends, and asked for suggestions on how to tame our 3 year-old beast—and save my sanity.

Overwhelmingly, the responses were to share the info when I got it.

Well, I never got any suggestions.

Unfortunately, none of us knows how to tame the 3 year-old beast.

So I guess we just ride it out.

Get some earplugs.

Maybe I can learn selective hearing to go with my selective memory.

It was time.

We probably should have sent her before.

Our precocious 2-1/2 year-old was more than ready for preschool.

When we went to tour the school, she was sad when we left.

“I thought I was going to school,” she said. “Why are we leaving?”

I had to tell her a few more times that we were only visiting.

When we went back to register, she thought for sure that she was staying.

This time she didn’t cry.

She got angry.

“You said I was going to school. Why are we going home?”

I tried to explain that she would start in a few days.

Finally she accepted it and went on with her day.

Yesterday we went shopping for a first day of school outfit.

I let her select it, as well as two new pairs of shoes.

She was very excited. 

Getting ready to leave for school

This morning, she was rarin’ to go.

Boo and I took her to school.

Immediately, something caught her eye and she was off to play.

We kissed her goodbye and wished her a great day.

No tears.

Bebs did really well too. 😉

As we left, I had this strange feeling in my stomach.

“I just LEFT her somewhere, and she will stay ALL DAY.”

Weird.

We came home and it was strangely quiet.

Strange to not have Bebs at home.

I called the school mid-morning.

She was doing great!

When we picked her up, she was upset.

Not upset at being at school.

Upset that we came to pick her up!

She wanted to stay even longer!

Daddy was worried how she’d do after 6 hours at school.

I guess we have an answer!

A woman at the school said that she talked a lot – much more than the other kids.

“Is she really only 2-1/2?” she asked.

In the car, I asked her if she had fun.

“I missed you, Mom,” she said. “But I was having fun. Can’t I stay longer? I’ve got things to do.”

She told me!

Bebs at school...she already looked different

Miss Independence is ready to leave the nest for a few hours a day.                                             

Mother Bird is doing well.

Perhaps Father Bird is having a tough time?

We better get it together.

This one is going to reach a lot of milestones fast.

Bebs rocked the school!

Let’s put on our seatbelts and hold on tight.

Surely she has taken over.

That school will never be the same.

In a good way, of course. 😉


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 51 other followers

BooBoo BeDoux

Bebs LaRoux

frthemommyfiles

Latest Tweets

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

Content is registered and protected.

MyFreeCopyright.com Registered & Protected